Paperwork Introduction

Anything dealing with paperwork on the road and how to deal with it, just send it in and we'll publish it here as a useful guide to all.

On this page:

Vehicle Registration

Don't leave the country without it, you must have an official looking document to show at borders.

Tip - If you are travelling for more than a year, you may find it expires, so check on the renewal procedure before you leave. It may be possible to do it completely online, and fortunately more are doing that all the time. TRIPLE-CHECK to make sure the information on it EXACTLY matches your Carnet de Passage.

Tip: - In a very few countries - the UK is one - you do not need to carry your vehicle registration papers or proof of insurance with you. However, in most countries you do. We recently had a traveller from the UK come to visit us on her way south. I noted she had no mirror on the bike, which here in Canada is illegal, and advised her to get one quickly to avoid getting stopped by the police and ticketed. An hour later I received a rather plaintive phone call; "My bike's just been impounded by the police!"

Turns out she didn't have any insurance either, which is why it was being impounded! Also - of course - she wasn't carrying her registration documents - another ticketable offence. Sadly, she may have escaped scrutiny if she'd had the mirror.

Lesson: Despite what your home countries regulations are, be aware that most countries require you to carry all paperwork with you at all times. Be sure the bike at least LOOKS legal even if it won't pass a detailed technical scrutiny at home by the authorities. Most, if not all, "western" countries such as Canada, USA, all of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand REQUIRE insurance. Most of the rest do not - but don't get confused as to where you are. :)

What is an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

From the Canadian Automobile Association: (same for everywhere)

"The International Driving Permit is a special licence for tourists, authorized by a UN treaty among nations of the world, for the purpose of allowing motorists to drive vehicles in international traffic without further tests or applications. It is proof that the holder possesses a valid driver's licence issued by a competent authority in their country of residence.

It provides the holder with an extra photo ID. Provides translation of your valid national Drivers licence since the IDP is printed in 10 languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, German, Arabic, Italian, Scandinavian and Portuguese.) Most Car Rental agencies will request an IDP even though one is not required to drive in their country."

International drivers permits are usually available from your local automobile association, (in Canada, it costs C$25.00) and only valid for one year. "An IDP cannot be post dated, extended or renewed. Each time a new IDP is required, the applicant must complete a new application form, produce a valid Canadian driver licence, provide 2 new photographs and the fee."

Drivers License

You must also have your valid national driver's license, and this is the one that is usually requested by police and border officials.

Tip - Be sure your license will not expire while you're overseas. It will be a major hassle to have it renewed, and the new details may not match your other documents, such as the Carnet, which will cause additional hassles.

Tip - If you're worried about handing your valuable licence over to possibly corrupt officials on the road, make several colour photocopies of your licence and laminate it nicely, that will work fine - and if they want to hold it until you pay a fine, no worries!

What is a Carnet de Passages en Douane?

"It offers a guarantee to a foreign government that the vehicle identified in the Carnet, if granted temporary importation status, will be removed from the country within the time limit imposed by the respective jurisdiction. In the event that the vehicle is not removed within the imposed timeframe, the country may claim from your Carnet Issuer all duties and taxes that would be required to permanently import the vehicle to that country. Using the Carnet is an alternative to leaving a cash security deposit with a foreign government. It allows free movement and unencumbered access between foreign countries. Most countries, but not all, allow this option. A Carnet is valid for one year from the date of issue..."

Most national auto clubs arrange an internationally-recognized 'Carnet de Passages en Douane' for home-country registered vehicles taken outside North America and Europe for personal tourist use. The personal tourist vehicle Carnet system is administered by the Swiss-headquartered Alliance Internationale de Tourisme (AIT). A Carnet document shows Customs officials that the vehicle owner has already posted a bond at least equal to the vehicle import duty of that country, and assures that the vehicle will be re-exported to its country of origin.

Note that the Carnet system does not apply if you intend to permanently import and re-register a vehicle originally manufactured for sale in a different country. Under those circumstances, most countries impose much stricter and more costly procedures.

Carnet de Passages en Douane.

Actual size is A4 - 11 ¾ " x 8 ¼"

Download a complete PDF of the carnet here

The carnet is also known as a tryptych, or sometimes triptiq.

Where do I need it?

You do NOT need it in the Americas; North, South or Central, at all.

You WILL need it in parts of Africa, and parts of the Middle East, Australia and Asia.

Detailed, up-to-date listing of where you REALLY need a carnet here!

Getting a carnet for ALL North Americans

Other countries are SIMILAR but there can be differences, for instance in the UK you can ALSO get a carnet using an "insurance" type scheme, so you do NOT have to have the guarantee, BUT of course you're paying insurance so it's a much higher total outlay of cash.

In North America specifically, the only organization authorized to issue personal tourist vehicle Carnets for Canadian and US-registered bikes, is Boomerang Carnets based in Barrington, Illinois.

See our links to Carnet issuing authorities


A frequent travel dream is to buy a Royal Enfield Bullet in India and ride it overland to Europe.

We received this in April 2003 from Paul Gowen, Senior Travel Research Advisor, RAC (Royal Automobile Club), UK, with updated Information on Carnet de Passages:

Paul wrote:


"... RAC also received a number of enquiries regarding purchase of Enfield bikes in India by visitors & returning overland to GB. However, in June 2002 we were advised by the AIT in Geneva who administer the carnet scheme worldwide, that according to Indian legislation, only those persons resident in India with proof of residence are eligible to purchase & register vehicles in their name.

Individuals who have purchased/registered motorcycles in the past have done so illegally & may be held liable under Indian law. Issuing clubs were advised that under no circumstances can a carnet be issued outside India for a vehicle purchased in India bearing Indian registration plates."

Counterfeit carnets:

Paul also wrote: "I followed the thread about counterfeit carnets with obvious interest & availability from ‘Mr Carnet’ in London. No new messages & queries appear to be posted so I hope that all travellers will only obtain carnets from official sources.

Carnets are distributed by the AIT, Geneva & a database is maintained of all serial numbers used. A list is circulated so all clubs can identify where carnets are allocated worldwide. AIT are also aware of the trade in counterfeit documents which was first noted with the availability of illegal International Driving Permits promoted on a number of websites.

Hope this is of help. Regards, Paul Gowen"

Thanks Paul! Note that Paul and other Carnet issuers do read the paperwork forum on the HUBB.

Regarding Enfields and riding one home (wherever that may be) from India - just go to Nepal, it is perfectly legal to buy a bike and get a carnet for a Nepalese Enfield. They are somewhat more expensive in Nepal, but at least it's legally possible.

Country specific details

Central and South America
New Zealand

Central and South America

The carnet is NOT required anywhere in North, Central and South America including in Ecuador. Ecuador used to require it, and you may still be asked. If you have any problems, quote Articles 82/83, Decree 158/2082 in their law books - which they should have - and inform them the new law came into place September 21, 2004. Details here.

Notes on South America:

If you fly into Quito Ecuador, you may find there are delays and hassles. Until 2005 a carnet was required to bring a vehicle into Ecuador, the only country in the Americas to do so. In 2004 there was a protest led by Ricardo, and supported by many local people in Ecuador and a petition here on HU, which was finally successful in changing the law. They are still getting sorted as of this writing, (early 2005) so there may be some hassles. If so, contact Ricardo Rocco, (contact him in advance via the Quito Community) and he'll help sort it out. Basically it takes patience, smiles, and sometimes a little extra in the way of fees, although that too is improving - slowly.

More on sea freight into Ecuador.

If you have a carnet you can use it at most borders, and it is probably cheaper and quicker if you do, but definitely not worth getting one just for North OR Central and South America.

Notes on Central America

Usually the bike's details are stamped into your passport - you cannot leave the country without the bike. Be VERY careful - the permit for the bike CAN BE shorter than your own visa. Travellers have overstayed the bikes permit and paid up to US$3500 in fines to get the bike released. Always ask for the maximum allowed, no matter how quickly you plan on staying, things can go wrong - or right, and you want to stay longer!

USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe

USA, Canada, Mexico and European countries do not require duty, Customs bond or Carnet to temporarily import personally-owned 'tourist' vehicles as long as they are re-exported within liberal timeframes, usually 6-12 months. Most other countries still require a Carnet, or an alternative on-site border crossing or port-of-entry duty/tax payment, even for short stay or transit imports. Although a Carnet eases Customs clearance in countries that require or recognize it, the Carnet system itself is not without costs.

When bringing a bike in to any of these countries - and for that matter ANY country - it is important to be clear from the start that "I'm just travelling through to X, and looking forward to seeing your country" with a big smile. Period. NO questions about for instance;

"What if I want to sell my bike here, what would be the procedure?"


"I want to park my bike here for a year while I go home and work for a while, then come back, what do I need to do?"

Fatal - keep your mouth shut! Ask questions like that later, once you're in, or preferably beforehand, here on HU or ask one of the local Communities.

For more details on Canada and USA Carnet see above

CAA Carnet to New Zealand

For bikes taken specifically only to New Zealand, 'tourist' vehicle entry procedures are relatively straightforward and not time consuming; it is usually easier and less costly to apply directly for New Zealand Customs clearance, and pay their vehicle import and sales taxes (OZ = 26.4%; NZ = 12.5%, refundable when the bike is re-exported/shipped home), rather than apply for a Carnet from the CAA.

Australia "Temporary Import" Rules as of December 2008

From Tristan Rizzo, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Develoment and Local Government:

"If you want to import a vehicle into Australia temporarily, you must bring it in on a valid Carnet. There is no other option. If you can not get a carnet, then temporary import approval will not be possible. Here is a link to our website which contains all our information on importing vehicles into Australia."

Australia has been tightening their vehicle import procedures for some time. Basically, you MUST have a carnet de passage. If you show up without a carnet, the vehicle will be denied entry and you may be subject to fines.

From the website:

"If you are visiting Australia on a vacation, you may temporarily import your vehicle to Australia by presenting a valid Carnet de Passage en Duane to the Australian Customs Service at the port where the vehicle arrives in Australia.

A carnet is similar to a personal passport and contains all the relevant information about the vehicle - make, model, colour, engine capacity, seating capacity, registration number, owner and value. Carnets can be obtained for motor vehicles, motorcycles, campervans, four wheel drive vehicles, caravans and trailers.

Your Vehicles' Carnet must be obtained from the motoring organisation in your country of residence before you leave home...

Conditions of Use

  • *A carnet is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
  • Vehicles imported under a carnet may not be lent, sold, mortgaged, hired, exchanged, given away or otherwise disposed of while in Australia;
  • The vehicle must be exported from Australia prior to or on the expiry date of the carnet; and
  • The vehicle that is covered by a carnet must not remain in Australia when the owner is not in Australia.

Vehicles imported without a Carnet will not be permitted to clear customs until an import approval is issued. Import approvals can only be issued in accordance with the circumstances set out in the Regulations as documented in this bulletin.

If you do not meet any of the circumstances, an import approval will not be issued and you will be required to have your vehicle exported or destroyed at your own expense.

Note: this Office does not issue Carnets and is unable to assist with any questions on Carnets, please contact your motoring organisation in your country for the issuing of a Carnet and information on a Carnet."

NOTE: After significant reading I have come to the conclusion that any thought of travellers getting in on some "circumstances" (emphasis mine) to avoid the need for a carnet are hopeless. Migrants, residents etc are the circumstances.

Travellers MUST HAVE A CARNET for Australia.

For further details, see:

The Australia Customs Services site.

Details on obtaining 'Vehicle Import Approval' from Department of Transport and Regional Services, Vehicle Safety Standards, GPO Box 594, CANBERRA ACT 2601, tel +61/2 6274 7444, fax +61/2 6274 6013, email: Information and application forms are available on their Website.

New Zealand Temporary Import

Details on importing your bike temporarily into New Zealand are available from the NZ Automobile Assoc, International Motoring Services, 419 Great South Rd, Auckland NZ, +64/9 579 6886, fax +64/9 579 7473,; from the NZ Customs Service,, Website. You will be required to register the bike in NZ and, while not required to obtain insurance, it's VERY recommended, and a safety inspection will be required.

Nigel Marx, NZ Community, says: "Many travelers have not even been required to register, some have to buy a partial registration with Accident Compensation Corporation levy (saving NZ$160) and some full registration, but that seems to vary with the person you are dealing with. Also sometimes a WOF (Warrant Of Fitness safety inspection) is required, and sometimes not."

Further details on temporary registration can be obtained from the NZ Land Transport Safety Authority,, or on the Website.


From Jenny Kelso & Peter Hendricks:

"Arya Panya (ph. 0140554300) is the man who looks after carnets in Paris. He seems much more knowledgeable than our local office here in Nice.

Cost: €114 for club membership, €150 for carnet + deposit of 150% of Argus (semi-official valuation) per vehicle.

To get back the deposit you must supply the customs import certificate from France or another country. It is not enough to only send back the carnet."

Links to more information:

 Carnet Providers      Visa Providers     Motorcycle Insurance Providers




I plan to ride on what will be then my 8 year old Himalayan from Queensland, Australia to Dili across to Java and up to Kalimantan/Sarawak to Malaysia and Singapore.

I have absolutely no intention to return back to Australia as I will be residing in Singapore. Because of the CoE for vehicles in Singapore, I intend to buy a nice new bike there.

So what do I do with my old Himalayan?

That's a very difficult question to answer! Technically, if it's on a carnet, it MUST go back to Austrlia, OR be declared destroyed by the police / customs people.

IIRC - In Singapore they do destroy or export vehicles whose reg has expired and the owner won't renew it. MAYBE you can do something there.

Destroy or part it out maybe... No good options I can think of, but be suire to ask on the HUBB for other ideas:

Good evening from germany. I will go with my bike for 5 months on a trip from the south to the north in south america. I need a insurance for my motorbike for the countries in south america. Does anybody from you know whom to contact to get an insurance? Many many thanks in advance. Ingo

Generally in South America you get insurance at the border. For some, you can get it in advance.
See the HUBB: and the South America forum there, also the Paperwork forum. There has been lots of discussion on insurance and crossing borders. Hope that helps!

Hey HU - I'm a fellow Cannuk but have been living & riding down under for 20 years.  Just back from a solo lap of Aus on my VStrom 1000...

Now the bug has truly bitten and I'm thinking of an Overland Syd to London then maybe RTW on a Ural...

Your comment about needing a valid moto rego and the fact that most (including NSW) expire annually really caught my attention...  Here if the vehicle is more than 5 years old it must have a phsical saftely inspection (a.k.a. the pink slip).  This precludes being able to renew online and if you were say in the middle of India this could be a big problemo.

So, asside from buying a new bike and hoofing it RTW, are there any other tricks of the trade?

Many thanks, love the site.  D.


Does anybody know or contacts in Santiago Chile for paper work for my bike insurance custom ect.. . I got the flight for my bike from Toronto to Chile . Thx you for that info.

im going end of this month and need some sort of contact to help me with that at the airport and don't know what kind of paper do I need for over there this is my first time doing this .

any info on this topic will be great help thx u.


You shouldn't need anyone to help, Chile is pretty organized. You MUST have all your paperwork for the bike - current registration / title. Multiple copies are a good thing.

Also of course your drivers licence, again copies are good, and an International Dripers Permit may not be required but its no big deal to get from (x)AA and may help.


Make sure all documents are good for at least 6 months; a year is better.

and really that's it. Be prepared, arrive early, bring something to eat and drink, and be prepared to just follow instructions. It will be intersting!

For more, check out the HUBB, bound to be some discussion on it.

Have a great trip!


Wow, that's an ENORMOUS question, best answered by reading all of HU, checking out the Achievable Dream Video series...

Of course if you just want an answer regarding bikes and rego :)

  1. New bike is one way, so you'd be good for 5 years.
  2. Another way is make sure the bike you take is JUST done it's 5 year inspection!
  3.  OR is it annual after 5 years? That would be a big issue.  I suspect that many people choose to ignore that and keep going anyway. I would personally try to find a sympathetic ear at the rego office and see what you can figure out - learn the ins and outs. Also of course ask on the HUBB, someone else who has done a big trip from Aus will be able to help I'm sure.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Thanks Grant - I like the 'she'll be right mate' attitude!

just be aware that your insurance may not pay out if the bike is not 100% legal at home. You know Insurance companies will look for EVERY loophole to avoid paying. Also places like Egypt scrutinise your documents with a magnifying glass, and if they suspect something's amiss, they can confiscate it - permanently, for smuggling, and toss you in jail. "she'll be right mate" till she isn't.

Hallo HU,

I hope you can help a Blondie! I am German, my bike is portugues registerred (in my name).

I am planning to travel US and CAN next year as next leg to the RTW trip. I am planning to ship the bike to Florida, than travelling up to CAN to travel across CAN. From CAN into Alaska and then back through CAN to USA travelling down to Mexico and then continuing South.

Now my doubt is the Visa story. I started (not finished and send off) the B2 Visa form, but I am wondering if I could do ESTA for the first part US, then I should get the CAN tourist visa for travelling CAN.

Entering US via Alaska, can I apply for a new ESTA? And as that will be running out (90 days) during my travel South, can I fly out (e.g. Germany or Costa Rica) and then apply for another one to get another 90 days?

As far as I know, I have to apply for EPA for my motocycle prior and that should be valid for 1 year, correct?

Sorry, was trying to find answers here, but so far couldn´t and I do not know where to search anymore. As travelling Europe currently, it is difficult to get someone on the phone that can give you the right answers.

Thank you for helping me here,

Best wishes,

Steffi (currently in Baltic States)

Hi Steffi, welcome to HU!

The HUBB forums are the place to ask for this level of detailed information, especially as it is currently (COVID) changing often.

A couple of thoughts:

It's generally MUCH easier and often cheaper to ship your bike to Canada than into the USA.

Perhaps: Toronto (easy), or St. John's Newfoundland (fewer flights), across Canada, to Alaska, and down, crossing the USA in the north, down to Florida if that's a must do, and head west. Just an idea... and one less border crossing.

The ESTA does allow MULTIPLE entries, so you should only need one - but there are probably all sorts of caveats you'll need to reasearch.

Ask on the HUBB! :)





Thank you for sharing this. Helps a lot!

Ive heard travel through Africa is easier with a SA plated bike.

My plan is to jump hoops and buy and register a bike in SA, but id like to hear from soneone thats done it. Im pretty sure id need a SA resident to help me out and let me use their address. So the search for that person begins!

Any help appreciated!

Hi Clax,

best to ask that sort of question on the HUBB for the “can it be done” part, and SA Communities for the address. Combining both when asking of course!

good luck

Hi everyone. 

I’m looking for info on visas (planning a trip from Canada to Argentina then back to Canada next year). Could someone point me in the right direction as to where find the ‘visa’ section of this page? I’ve clicked on it but it just takes me down to the comments! Thank you! (And apologies if I’ve just missed the link!)

No worries, you DID miss it! :)
When you click the Visas link, it takes you down the page - and at the VERY VERY top of the screen, ABOVE the comments, is a row of links to more - including Visa providers.

NOTE: Canadians can get all visas for that route at the borders! :)

Best of luck!

Thanks Grant and again huge apologies I’ve found it! I’ll keep searching the forums on here as I am British and my boyfriend Irish so need more info on obtaining the visas! We’ll be at the HUBB event in Wales so I’m sure we’ll get lots more helpful info there too. Thanks again! 

Hi everyone, 

I'm planning my trip from Australia to South America in my motorbike, through Asia and Europe.

I bought my motorbike here in Australia and I'm planning to get the Carnet de passage from the Australian Automobile Association. 

I'm not an Australian citizen, I'm living temporarely in Australia (Work and Holiday Visa). So, I don't have an Australian Driver Licence. I have the licence issued in my country of origin (Uruguay) and the International Drivers License as well. 

According to the AAA webpage, I wouldn't be able to get the CPD because I don't have the Australian Driver Licence.

Anyone out there had been in a similar situation?

Thanks in advance,


Does Uruguay have a "Carnet Issuing Authority"? If they do you can get it from them in theory. If NOT, then you can request another country to issue the carnet and you should get approval. So, contact the AAA in Australia and ask!

Hope that helps!

Hi Grant! 


Thank you very much for your response. 

I finally got the carnet from the Australian Automobile Club, as the bike is registered in Australia. 

Showing, of course, an International Driver Licence. 

Thanks Grant! You created this blog, you already have your place in heaven!!



Good to hear, well done!

It's always good to to hear the RESULTS - helps us, and others too.

Hi HU travellers!

Currently I'm about to plan my "very long" or "RTW" motorcycle trip (havent deciced yet) next summer so I already spent lots of time reading through forums, vatching viseos, reading different homepages. The planing goes really well, but the other day I came across a visa related question which I'm struggling with to find the answer!

If I have a Visa to a country valid for 30 days (lets say Russia) with double entry, but half way I decide to visit another country (Mongolia) for 10 days... is that 10days will be deducted from the 30 "russian days"?... I mean after 10 days travelling in russia, then 10 days in mongolia, how many days can I spend in russia after I returned from mongolia? 10 or 20?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Wish you wide roads fellas!


Sadly there's an easy answer to that: "It depends..."

on everything, from your nationality to the country you're in and the country you're going to and the TYPE of visa you have. There's single entry, multiple entry, tourist, business, and probably a dozen more. So you need to ask when you're getitng the visa for all those details.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but... it depends!


Thank you for your answer! I appreciate it. I think the best thing to do here is to ask at the Russian Embassy in person.


Hi Guys , not sure where to ask this question .., 

I am planning a RTW trip on a motorcycle with a difference .....,

I am hoping / planning to tow a trailer behind a motorcycle on a RTW trip (ie; I plan to carry 4 surfboards in my trailer)

Question ; is a carnet required for the trailer , as it is for the bike .., or is the trailer included in the bikes carnet ?

.., how do I get permission at the many boarders for the trailer ?

Note ; the trailer (and the bike) will be Australian Registered

Kind Regards


Hi Dave,

Sorry for the late reply - too much going on!

I think though that you'll have to ask the Carnet people in your state what they think. Permission at the border shouldn't be an issue - they may or may not ignore it, or be befuddled by it, or have a small fee, depends as always on where you are. NOT insurmountable ever though I think.

Good luck with it, be sure to start an HU Blog / Travellers Story here - I look forward to reading your story!



I hope you have a facebook page to follow. I myself am about to depart on a RTW trip with my partner, but not with four boards. Keen to follow your trip. 






I am a New Zealander and have a moto that has Andorra Tourist Plate in Europe. I am the registered owner. I presume I cannot get a carnet in NZ as the vehicle is not from NZ and am unsure if I can get one from Andorra as I am obviously not resident there.

Any ideas

I'd just suggest asking NZ because you are a kiwi, and Andorra because that's where the bike is registered and see what they say! If both say no, then in theory you can go anywhere, so I'd start with ADAC.

Good luck, and do tell us what happened so we have a reference for the future!

Hi there
Maybe this's stupid question but how to get CDP in UK ? Just found out that RAC ( the only one place where you can get CPD) it's no longer operate. Any suggestions? Is any other companies where I can apply for CPD?

There is a lot of information on this subject here:

Basic result is that you get it from ADAC in Germany, but do read through to understand.

Good luck!

Could someone point me in the right direction for obtaining a carnet for my Chinese motorbike (bought and registered in China).

I had a look on the ADAC website but couldn't find out if I would be able to get a carnet from them. My route takes me through many countries which need a carnet so this is a crucial piece of paperwork for me.

Thanks in advance for any help.

The Carnet Rules are that you are supposed to get a carnet in the country of registration IF that country has FIA / AIT Carnet issuing authority, usually the leading automobile club. HOWEVER - IF there IS NO approved Carnet issuing authority in that country, then any Carnet Issuing authority CAN supply you with a carnet.

Here's the list of all countries that have issuing authorities. You'll notice China isn't on the list, so you can go anywhere.
ADAC should be able to help you. Also the RAC in Australia and others.

Let us know how you do and what worked!

We have issued the first CPD in North America since the CAA stopped issuing. Applications are being accepted as of March 1, 2016. If you need additional information go to this page and click on the link at the bottom: The public US CPD website will be up shortly as well and when ready, I will post the link on Horizons Unlimited. Thank you for your patience. Leslie August

Planning a trip up thro Patagonia to Buenos Aires - so shipping our bikes into Ushuiai and out of BA
Will be travelling thro Argentina and Chile
What paperwork do we require for the temp import and border crossings ?
Looks like we don't need a carnet ?
Do we need visas ?
Anyone out there done this recently ?

as noted above, NO carnet for the Americas.
Paperwork - all the usual, proof of ownership of the bike and passports.
Visas - I doubt it - but you'll have to check - every country is different. Argentina may require visas for Brits and not someone else. Canadians don't need a visa or iris scan or fingerprinting to enter the USA - but everyone else does. Check.
Loads of people have done similar, though shipping in to Ushuaia is unusual. Check the shipping info database of previous shipments.
Also be sure to note comments about flying vs shipping by sea for the start of your trip. Sea is NOT reliable no matter what they tell you.

have a great trip!

If you are thinking on shipping your bike to India (I did it by air to Mumbai) they will check that your CdP is valid before letting your bike off. You will have to show your Carnet to the guys at the Indian Automobile Association, and they will contact you issuing agency by email asking if your carnet is valid -since they have had so many fake ones in the last couple of years. This might take a few days, unless you do something (money talks). You can also buy insurance there (really cheap)

if you have any questions, I'll be glad to help


In Belgium : The International Driving Permit is issued by your municipality (Commune/Gemeente). Come with your ID card, your driving licence and an ID photo. I got mine in 2 days for 21 € (may varies with the municipality ?). Valid for 3 years.

In 2012 I temporarily imported my DL650 from NZ into Australia using a Vehicle Import Approval which I obtained via the department of transport. This cost AUD $50 BUT was ONLY possible because the bike carries an Australian compliance plate. I air-shipped the bike to Sydney. Custom were not used to this, but after speaking to the appropriate person in the customs hierarchy by phone, who then explained the procedure to the airport customs office (on my phone!), everything went smoothly. Only handling and inspection fees were charged, including AUD250 to cart the bike 10 minutes down the road because the obviously competent inspector at the airport did not have a machinery cleanliness inspection certificate. After a cursory inspection I was off.

However - and it is a big however - you CANNOT get third party personal insurance in Australia UNLESS you register your bike in Australia EVEN WITH A CARNET! I cancelled my (expensive) NZ registration - which involved transferring my NZ bike registration to a friend, who could only then hand in the plate I had sent him and de-register it. I registered the bike in NSW. To do this required proving a residentia address. I did this by opening a bank account with CBA, using the address of an Aussie friend. The bank then gave me a letter with that address on it which was proof enough for NSW registration department (unlike the bank, they will not accept a verbally given address).

In the end I sold the bike in Australia, and paid only AUD830 duty. All of this was way way cheaper than getting a carnet; and note the point above about third party personal insurance. As an added point of interest, the ACT registration authority told me that I could not even ride my bike in ACT without getting it inspected, and registered (over AUD1000). I was already riding my bike legally as a temporary import according to the official web sites I had searched. This was not related to having a carnet or not - it was because at that point I still had NZ plates.

So ---- beware, the rules in Aus are not obvious, and are differnt for different states. Beware also of information about the "Nominal Defendent". This makes it appear that as a temporary traveller you don't need third party personal insurance. There is a catch though - the Insurance companies will pay out the injured party BUT they will come after the liable person to recover their costs, including the costs of recovering the costs.

Don't get me wrong - Aus is a great place to tour - but I suggest you just buy a bike over there. All you need is an Aus licence, and once you do the bank thingo I mentioned above, you can get a year's licence in NSW for AUD35 issued on the spot. Be sure to buy a bike in the state your licence is in - otherwise you virtually have to import the vehicle to another state, and that's expensive because of stamp duty. It's relatively easy to get an Aussie purchased bike into NZ - but that's another story. Enjoy.


I learned that a carnet is required for Jamaica. Will be arriving there in a few days by sea and intend to confirm same with customs. If a carnet is not required, then I will post a retraction. Online sources indicate that a carnet is required.

Taking the time to obtain a carnet in Colombia, posting a huge bond and paying the associated fees is not worth the pleasure of riding in Jamaica for a few days. Will consider renting a scooter instead. =)

Peter Bodtke

Carnets are issued in Australia by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA). However you organise one through your State's motoring organisation. For NSW that's the NRMA, for VIC it's RACV, etc.

In NSW contact NRMA Travel Services on 02 8741 6266. All carnet requests go (feb 2013) to Ms Taleah Mulder (02 8741 6506, She also organises international driving permits if after the set.

Taleah can send you the application form, recommending you leave at 3 weeks for the application process. Fees as quoted on the form are as follows:

- $400 application
- $250 deposit (returned once home again and carnet discharged)
- security from 25% (NZ) to 470% (Iran) of reputable quote on bike's value. If pay via insurance it's 2% of the value.

I am purchasing a bike in South Africa and wish to travel overland with it to Europe. Who must I go see about getting a CdP filled out? Will it be necessary? and do I need a new one for each country I visit?? Is the PDF on this link only suitable to Canadian Bikes?

Thank you for your help,



The one posted here is a SAMPLE and is the SAME DOCUMENT for the whole WORLD. ONE carnet covers all the countries you choose to visit. It contains multiple pages, and it's one page per country. You will need one for Africa, although there is some opinion that you can get away without it, it's not easy.

For a South African bike, assuming you are South African, you see the national Automobile Club, which is the standard for all countries. However, IF your country does NOT do carnets, you can then go to any other country that DOES do carnets and get one there - in theory - in practice some will some won't. ADAC in Germany is usually the best, also the Netherlands is supposed to be easy.

See our links page for more country Carnet issuing authorities.

Hope that helps!

The British RAC has stopped issuing Carnets and I'm told the German ADAC group are now in charge.
Does anyone have any experience with ADAC? I want to know how soon before I start my trip I need to order a carnet.
Is it a week or two, a month?

You want to apply at least a month before, just to be sure. If there are any questions / mistakes on your original application you could go back and forth a few times, and you don't want to be still messing about when the day to leave comes. I'd recommend TWO months!

NOTE: You MIGHT get it done in two weeks, (less is highly unlikely) but if you have made a sudden decision to go, you might as well try.


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